Cushing disease dog behavior – 10 symptoms to aware about
Do you think you can recognize the Cushing disease dog behavior easily? Keep in mind that this particular condition tends to be very tricky. The signs can be both hard to spot and to correlate with dog Cushing disease since they remind other possible issues.
On another note, the earlier you start to take note of your dog’s abnormal behavior, the better you will be able to manage your pet’s condition. That literally means you can get to spend more precious time with your beloved furry buddy. Timely reactions and adopting the best practices in the case of canine Cushings will prolong the lifespan of your pet and increase its quality of life.
Further, in this article, we are listing the 10 symptoms you need to be aware of, as well as expert tips on how to attribute these signs to that particular disease.
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1. Your dog has an increased desire to drink water
If your dog is constantly thirsty or rapidly increases its water intake for no obvious reason, then this might be a sign of canine Cushing disease. On the one hand, physical activities, as well as certain foods or medications might also be a reason for your dog’s lack of hydration. Thus, you need to take these notes into consideration and not hurry with any dire diagnoses. But in the case you cannot link your dog’s thirst to any possible outer stimuli, then you have to check for other signs of Cushing.
Nevertheless, increased urination is also a sign of possible problems. Maybe your dog has been asking you to go more often outside lately? Or maybe it has been even come to bitterly surprise you with unpleasant pea-pea accidents in the house. This, combined with your pet’s desire for refilling its water bowl frequently should bring the alarm to you that something wrong is going on.
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2. Your dog seems to be more hungry than usual
Dog Cushing disease doesn’t only show with increased thirst, but increased hunger, as well. It might seem cute when your fellow is pushing his bowl into your feet several times a day but this is not to be underestimated.
Many people tend to confuse excessive appetite with a brilliant health status and the typical dog’s cravings. However, if you get to spot this unusual behavior earlier, you can help your pet much in the long term.
But in case you keep feeding your dog with more and more food until it gets obese, this can make things even worse. Nevertheless, many dog owners slip on the thin line which marks the love they share for their pets and the natural passion to give them nothing but the best can turn out to be a bad favor.
Weight gain can stop your dog from moving around freely, and even decrease its will and ability to execute simple tasks such as climbing the stairs. Along with these issues, the so-called pot belly can also be a sign that your dog is not merely a bit off the weight track but probably suffering from Cushing. In case you notice these indications and can further pair them with more of the symptoms on this list, we highly recommend that you ask your veterinarian to run a test.
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3. Your once unstoppable doggy often goes out of breath
We all know that a panting dog is something completely normal and we often get the desire to snuggle our pet’s cute furry face whenever we see him run out of breath. In the case your dog has been playing outside, running, or been involved in other physical activities, then there is nothing to worry about. Particular meteorological conditions, such as hot or rapidly changing weather can also cause your dog to take those short, quick breaths. It’s always a good idea to think twice if you supply your dog with fresh water on a regular basis.
It is often the case when more than one person is taking care of an animal, there can be miscommunications and situations which require double checking. Maybe you have been thinking that your partner regularly fills your dog’s water bowl while he might be thinking you are supposed to be doing this.
However, if your dog’s panting has nothing to do with the lack of water, intense physical activity or weather, then you need to reconsider what is causing it, and if this does pair with a few more of the symptoms on this list, then it’s time to visit your veterinarian for a consultation.
4. Excess fur falling for no particular reason
Every dog undergoes two main periods of fur-changing during the year. Meanwhile, if you notice this happening out of the typical time frames, it can be a signal something wrong is going on. On another note, when it comes to dogs, hair loss is also related to a condition, called hypothyroidism.
So how can you discern between hypothyroidism and dog Cushing? Of course, the wisest option would be consulting a professional. But in the case you are not completely sure on whether or not something with your dog is going off the track, then you need to be very alert and check for all the possible signs before concluding anything.
Thus, much like with the symptoms listed above, if you find that three or more of these are combined, then you ought to reconsider what’s the best attitude to adopt for your dog’s well-being.
5. Sudden changes in your dog’s temper
Even if you own the most charming, cuddly, cute and mellow furry fellow, dog Cushing can also affect your pet’s behavior. How has been your dog acting lately? Does your beloved buddy seem to share the same easy-going temper? Do you notice any abrupt changes in your dog’s attitude towards you?
Not all dogs will act too aggressively but as you know your pal so well, you will spot almost effortlessly that this is not the typical style of your dog’s behavior towards you. In case of sudden aggression, your fluffy friend might be simply bothered with physical pain that it cannot speak out loud.
Some dogs might not show hostility towards anyone but still show traces of nervous, disruptive behavior, as well as total lack of joy. Always pay attention to any possible mood and behavior swings in your dog, and don’t leave these without digging into the very root of the issue.
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6. Your dog is suffering from repetitive infections
If your dog has just recently healed from an infection which is reoccurring, then you need to be very alert and pay utmost attention to your pet’s condition. Yes, some infections are very stubborn and it is not unusual for owners to have to fight these issues more than once.
But then again, you will know fair well that there is a deeper problem which needs to be resolved if you can link these frequent infections with any of the symptoms listed above.
Both ear and eye infections fall into this category. You may notice redness, irritation or unpleasant odour in the ear area. Discharges and decreased hearing are also signs for infection. When it comes to eye infections, not only discharges and redness or cloudy iris are showing that your dog is fighting inflammation. Sometimes pets can experience light sensitivity and you may catch them squinting or blinking too much.
7. Changes in your dog’s skin
A healthy dog’s skin will feel plump and bouncy to the touch. You can easily spot that something is incorrect with your pet’s condition if you gently pinch their skin. If you notice that it feels thin to the touch, then this might be a sign of dog Cushing.
On another note, you may notice that your dog tends to get bruises more often or more easily. This is related to the skin’s lack of plumpness, as mentioned above, but you can also attribute bruises to a particular situation or activity which brings logic to what has caused these in the first place. Then again, in the case you cannot link bruising to outer factors, then you most certainly pay attention to your pet’s health.
Unfortunately, your mission can get harder as your dog ages, because it is typical for older dogs to experience thinning skin and proneness to injuries, including bruises. Thus, it is up to you to keep track of the current state of your dog so you can react accordingly in case you get suspicious about dog Cushing.
8. Hair loss which appears symmetrical
Apart from the unusual for the season hair loss that your dog might be experiencing as listed above, you ought to be even more alert if you notice particular patches losing fur. These are called symmetrical because instead of affecting your dog’s legs and head, these zones would remain intact.
Check if your dog is losing fur in the midsection zone of the body. The hairless patches tend to appear on both sides of the belly, which makes these look symmetrical.
However, even such a particular sign must not be attributed to dog Cushing disease immediately. The term for dog’s hair loss is called alopecia and it is categorized primarily into three categories, being the very root of the issues. These include allergies, parasites, and endocrine/hormonal disorders. Then again, if you find more than two of the symptoms on this list to describe your pet’s current state, you may be indeed facing dog Cushing disease.
9. Your dog seems to suffer from insomnia
The increased levels of the hormone cortisol, which are among the main reasons for Cushing disease, can also affect your dog’s ability to take a quality sleep. It might be hard to notice whether or not your buddy is peacefully dreaming at night just like you are.
Thus, if you are feeling concerned about your dog and canine Cushing disease, you can consider setting an alarm and checking your dog’s activity about three times during the night. On another note, you may also check if your dog gets afternoon naps regularly or seems to shorten the periods for rest. Mind that this is always to be considered as something unusual, as dogs, much like cats, as well as wildlife mammals, are aficionados of taking sufficient hours of quality sleep.
Nevertheless, you may also observe your dog having struggles while it is sleeping, such as squeezing teeth, suddenly awakening or be acting abnormally nervous after the sleeping phase. Then you should increase your awareness and pay further attention to your dog’s behavior because these signs can point out to other problems as well.
10. Your dog seems to experience a lack of energy
Some dog species are naturally more energetic, however, each owner knows very well his pet’s average levels of activity. If your dog used to be a cheerful, anxious, curious being full of vital powers but now shows a lack of interest into physical activity and fun, then this most certainly should bring you into thinking that something wrong is going on. That’s especially if this strange behavior turns more into something common than merely just a period. However, with old dogs, things can get a bit harder to spot than with younger ones.
Another issue that needs to make you alert on your dog’s health status and the possibility of developing canine Cushing disease, is the muscle weakness. At least that can be spotted a bit easier, as you can gently massage your dog’s body and feel if the muscles appear distinct to the touch. Of course, not all dog species are naturally muscular, but regardless if their breed, all canine have a muscle system, which can be felt by the human touch.
The Bottom Line
Observing your dog’s behavior and eventual changes in the appearance can help you spot on time if your pet is suffering from dog Cushing disease. Nevertheless, if you are still doubtful or insecure in your decision, it is always best to consult your veterinarian.
The earlier you can spot canine Cushing disease, the more you will be able to help your beloved furry friend to avoid complications and be around you as long as possible.